5-10% is not an acceptable tip amount.
why, you may ask?
Every restaurant I know of makes all servers tip out the kitchen, bar, hostess team, management, etc. This tip out is usually 7-8% of your total sales. So, at the end of the day/night the server still has to pay that 7-8% tip out regardless of what his or her actually tip amount was. Generally I would say that the tip out winds up being 1/2 of what I take home each shift. Which means, let's say of the total potential 16% tips you earned, half of that is given away (and sometimes more).
If people don't tip out more than 8%, the server makes nothing.
If people tip nothing, the server pays out of pocket for the tip out.
For all those who have never before worked in the service industry...
Servers do far more than just serve their own 4-5+ tables. They are seating tables, busing tables, running food all over the restaurant, running plates, unloading glassware, refilling water jugs and pepper mills... all kinds of mundane tasks all at once. And trust me, it's a workout. I literally have lost an entire pant size/2 dress sizes over the Summer just from serving.
So, if a server takes 5 minutes to get you something and you can see with your own two eyes that the restaurant is busy, think about it...relax.
Food problems of any kind are not the server's fault. I'm not the one making the food, as much as I appreciate the hard work of all our kitchen staff.
This problem should never be used as a reason to badly tip. Bring up the issue the first time the server comes back to check on you. If the problem is not remedied to your satisfaction, speak up. Servers cannot read minds, but are more than willing to do whatever it takes to make sure you leave happy.
*sigh* People...*grumble, grumble*...*lobotomies*...
Ok, rant over.